LSU head baseball coach Jay Johnson addressed the media Monday afternoon to detail a few fall ball highlights. With such a star-studded roster, Johnson had the chance to evaluate his players in an in-game setting after facing off against McNeese State, ULL and their annual Purple-Gold World Series.
After a 14-week evaluation period, Johnson has a better feel for where his program stands, specifically which freshmen he believes can carry the load in year one.
Here’s a look into what the Tigers’ decision-maker had to say of where this squad stands:
Growth of Dylan Crews
Crews, a surefire top 10 pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, has exploded onto the scene rather quickly since arriving in Baton Rouge. Entering what will be his final season in the purple and gold, the time is now for Crews to take another step in his development.
Johnson spoke on what he’s seen from his leader, his mentality heading into this season and the expectations heading into his final year.
“He’s made a couple of small adjustments with his approach and he was hard to get out the last four or five weeks,” Johnson said on Monday. “He’s a guy who could be just doing the bare minimum but is taking it to another level and reminds me of a Kobe Bryant type mentality in that regard.”
“How much he cares about the team and the leadership piece and helping guys along. That’s something I really appreciate and you won’t find one player in our program who’s not pulling for him because of how he operates.”
Crews will be the headliner on a squad that attains significant weapons. Labeled a “superteam” by most, it’ll be the Dylan Crews, Tre Morgan and Tommy White show for the Tigers this season.
With as much talent as Coach Johnson has in his arsenal, it isn’t easy to have them gel right off the bat. It takes time, and for this program, utilizing fall ball to develop chemistry was a major point of emphasis.
“There were a few things that were really important,” Johnson said. “Obviously we have a ton of new players so building the concept of team with really good returners was a priority. To this point we’ve done as much as we can and that was positive.”
“We were more deliberate with things this year because of the amount of new players but the work was much more quality and I say that because the foundation with how we’re gonna roll was more set in stone.”
Johnson understands the challenges presented with so many mouths to feed, but as the team moves on with a “we, not me” mentality, the sky’s the limit for the Tigers.